Either way, India will only be a buyer of the aircraft, with no participatory opportunities left. The only Level I partner in the $40 billion programme (other than, of course, the US) is the UK. Italy and Holland are Level II partners. Canada, Turkey, Australia, Norway and Denmark are Level III partners and Israel and Singapore are on board as security cooperative participants, where they commit in-principle to a certain purchase but make no investment in the development. The levels simply reflect the level of financial exposure each government has in the programme.
Either way, it makes little sense in terms of where the IAF is, and where it’s headed. It looks like everyone’s throwing something at the government and expecting it to make decision rapidly — big mistake, because that just isn’t the way the government works. And in this case, rightly so. Speaking of 5G, the government has the PAK-FA negotiations on with the Russians, the MCA with HAL/DRDO and, in time, a Mk-II of the LCA. Where in hell does the F-35 fit into all of that? Or does it.